Stormers will look to pick up where they left off against Sharks

The Stormers look to be back in menacing form and they will be keen to continue their dominance over their local rivals.

The Stormers will be aiming to pick up where they left off when they take on the Sharks in their United Rugby Championship (URC) match at Kings Park in Durban on Saturday afternoon.

After a tough start to the season the double URC finalists have hit their stride and are making their way back up the URC table, but they come face to face with a desperate team in the Sharks who will throw everything they can at them in an effort to reverse their fortunes.

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The hosts are rock bottom on the URC log having lost eight and won one of their nine games so far, and they will hope that home ground advantage and some promising form in the Challenge Cup will combine to help them.

Menacing form

However, the Stormers look to be back in menacing form and they will be keen to continue their ridiculous dominance over their fellow South African teams.

It has been over two years since the Stormers have failed to beat one of their local rivals, with a 22-all draw against the Sharks in Durban in January 2022 the last time they haven’t walked away with the win.

In fact the Stormers have only lost once against an SA team in the URC, a surprising 37-19 defeat to the Lions in Cape Town in December 2021.

Their overall record in the URC against SA teams thus stands at 15 wins, one loss and one draw, showing the impressive dominance that they have built up over their local rivals over the past two and a half seasons.

The other SA URC teams may have thought they had a chance at overhauling the Stormers after they started the season with two wins, but then lost four straight games on tour to arrive back in South Africa in dreadful form.

But since then the Cape side has won six of their last seven games in all competitions, with the Bulls and Sharks included in that run, as they have moved up to seventh on the URC log.

Down to the wire

All three of the Stormers local derbies this season have gone down to the wire, with them beating the Lions 35-33, Bulls 26-20 and Sharks 16-15, so they have not been convincing wins.

But their ability to get over the line every time despite their struggles stands them in good stead to continue their winning run.

The Stormers and Sharks will be without the bulk of their Springbok stars, but both may receive a boost from players returning from injury.

The Sharks could see Bongi Mbonambi and Vincent Koch back in action, while the Stormers are hopeful that Frans Malherbe could return and they will be eager to receive a big boost from the incoming World Cup winners.